Whole Foods Market protecting pollinators in its supply chain

Whole Foods Glover Park Exterior

Whole Foods Market will require all fresh produce and floral suppliers to support pollinator health.

The natural and organic foods grocer, an Amazon subsidiary, is enacting a new pollinator policy. As part of the new guidelines, by 2025, Whole Foods will:

  • Require all fresh produce and floral growers to implement an integrated pest management (IPM) system, which prioritizes preventative and biological pest control measures and reduces the need for chemical pesticides.
  • Prohibit the use of nitroguanidine neonicotinoids (clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam) in all potted plants they sell.
  • Encourage all fresh produce and floral suppliers to phase out the use of nitroguanidine neonicotinoids.

In addition to honeybees, Whole Foods Market is attempting to protect the health of native pollinators, such as bumble bees, wasps and butterflies.

“We understand the important role pollinators play in our food system and, through this policy, will build on our long legacy of supporting biodiversity and pollinator health,” said Karen Christensen, senior VP, perishables & quality standards at Whole Foods Market. “This is another critical step forward in our journey of climate-smart agriculture as part of our purpose to nourish people and the planet.”

The company also engages its foundations and internationally recognized third parties to create campaigns that raise awareness of pollinators and their impact. In addition, its Whole Kids Bee Grant Program helps schools and non-profit organizations receive support for educational beehives and bee programming. 

Since 2014, the Whole Kids Bee Grant program has awarded more than 850 educational beehives to schools and nonprofits with support from The Bee Cause Project. More information on Whole Foods Market’s efforts to protect and support pollinators is available here.

[Read more: Whole Foods adopts next-gen refrigerant to lower carbon footprint, save energy]

Headquartered in Austin, Tex., Whole Foods Market is a subsidiary of Amazon and has more than 500 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

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